HomeAnalysisAttack on key Libyan airport damages fuel facilities

Attack on key Libyan airport damages fuel facilities

An attack on Saturday on the only operational airport in the embattled Libyan capital of Tripoli hit fuel tanks and sparked fires, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (OIC) said amid escalating violence across the country.

Firefighters were continuing to battle multiple blazes at the Mitiga airport in Tripoli, OIC said in a statement on Saturday, without naming those it held responsible for the attack.

However, the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli pointed the finger at rival forces led by Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar.

GNA forces accused Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) of shelling the airport, thereby setting fuel tanks alight, destroying fire trucks and damaging a passenger terminal and two aircraft.

The GNA also said Haftar’s forces, which are based in eastern Libya, had fired at least 80 rockets at residential areas in the vicinity of the airport and at Tripoli’s Bab Ben Ghashir district.

No details of deaths or injuries resulting from the alleged attacks have yet been given.

Haftar’s loyalists, who have been trying to capture Tripoli from the GNA since April last year, have not yet responded to the allegations.

Violence between the two sides has been raging in recent weeks despite repeated international calls for a humanitarian truce in Libya to focus on the fight against the coronavirus.

Oil-rich Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, becoming a battleground for rival proxy forces.

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